If you are looking for a different way to improve your outward appearance, then microneedling offers a minimally-invasive solution that could provide you with the results you want. This practice is relatively new, beginning in 1995, but it has gained significant attention in recent years thanks to new technologies which are available to facilitate the process.
Microneedling involves the insertion of fine, short needles into the skin for the purpose of rejuvenating it. A dermaroller is the most common method of administering this procedure, offering needles which range from 0.5-2.5 millimeters in diameter. The technician will then roll this device across the areas that you wish to improve to create results. It will create small punctures that feel like pin pricks, only entering the surface of the skin.
Some people may find that they can perform this procedure at home if they have the correct equipment and the blessing of their doctor or dermatologist.
If you are thinking about this procedure, then here are the pros and cons of microneedling to consider before booking your first appointment.
List of the Pros of Microneedling
1. Microneedling can stimulate your dormant hair follicles.
If you are struggling with hair growth on part of your body, then microneedling might be what you need to stimulate those dormant follicles into production once again. In a recent study of 100 people who received minoxidil and microneedling, 82% reported improvement in new hair growth compared to just 4.5% of those who only received minoxidil lotion to encourage restoration. That makes this procedure a viable solution for anyone who is experiencing a bothersome thinning of their hair.
2. Microneedling offers long-term skin improvements.
When skin is treated with microneedling, then it encourages the growth of elastin and collagen by up to 400% for up to six months after you complete a treatment series. If you wish to generate these results, then you only need to go through four microneedling sessions which are spaced 30 days apart. This process will then work to improve the look of your scars while encouraging a healthy glow as your skin works to refresh itself.
3. Microneedling helps to reduce cellulite.
There are several new microneedling devices offered by providers today that can help you to manage the issues of cellulite and sagging skin. Using a combination of radio frequencies and laser application, this procedure can help to stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, elastin, and collagen in problematic areas of the body to promote natural skin tightening and lifting. It is safe to use on your lower face, neck, thighs, and abdomen to achieve the results that you want.
4. Microneedling requires zero downtime.
Even though you are repetitively puncturing your skin when you undergo a microneedling session, there is no downtime from the procedure for most people. Once your provider finishes administering the rolling or laser application, you are ready to go back to work and your regular schedule. Your skin will likely be sensitive to the sun while it heals and there may be some discomfort involved, but most people can manage this issue with standard UVA/UVB protection and some over-the-counter pain relievers.
Most people will only experience a slight amount of redness to their skin tone the day after the procedure is complete. You might see some pinpoint bleeding, but you are generally back to normal by the next day at the latest.
5. Microneedling reduces the appearance of scars without adverse effects.
The Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery published the results of a small study on microneedling which tracked 36 people who used the treatment to address scars. They tracked each person over the course of at least three treatment sessions. 34 out of the 36 people reported that they had a marked improvement without a permanent adverse side effect from the process. Over 80% said that their results were “excellent.” Even if the scar doesn’t disappear completely, you can use it to fade its appearance. This advantage works on all forms of scar tissue, including burns and stretch marks.
6. Microneedling works with any skin tone.
Anyone can take advantage of the benefits which microneedling offers if their skin is healthy enough to endure the process. Every skin tone supports this process because the risk of pigmentation issues occurring afterward is very low. Even when providers use 3mm needles that puncture deeper into the skin, the risk of seeing an alteration in tone is exceptionally minimal. If you have concerns because your skin tone is very light, then talk to your treatment provider about using the most superficial needles possible for the best results.
7. Microneedling is cheaper than laser resurfacing.
Even if you use a microneedling session that is combined with laser therapy and radio frequencies, the cost is typically 50% cheaper than it would be if you chose a full resurfacing option. The results are similar after healing as well, which is why this option continues to grow in popularity. Although the recovery time can be slow for some people, the results often speak for themselves.
8. Microneedling does not take long to perform.
The typical microneedling treatment that people receive today requires about 10 to 20 minutes to complete. Some can resume their usual activities immediately, although many providers recommend taking a day to rest before returning to their routine. The length of the needles often dictates what you can accomplish with this advantage. Longer insertions will usually need more time for recovery, so you will want to speak with your provider if you must get back to work immediately after the treatment.
9. Microneedling uses numbing cream to limit the discomfort you feel.
Although the procedure itself only takes a few minutes to complete, your provider may apply a numbing cream to your skin that requires 15 to 30 minutes to soak in to minimize your discomfort. That reduces the amount of pain that you experience during the procedure, making it a tolerable experience for most people. The time goes by quickly, and then you are given a serum that helps to sooth the skin to reduce potential issues with inflammation.
List of the Cons of Microneedling
1. Microneedling can create an addictive effect on some people.
If you receive too many procedures in a short time period, then it is possible to break the capillaries in your skin. This process can cause the skin to begin to look more like plastic because of the repetitive insertion of needles. You should only receive this procedure once per month and always allow for a full recovery between sessions. If you find that you’re struggling to put the tools away, then allow a friend or loved one to manage your appointments or equipment on your behalf.
2. Microneedling requires time for healing.
You will need at least two weeks after a procedure to begin experiencing the full benefits of microneedling. During your recovery time, there may be a pink coloration to your skin because of the microscopic injuries you sustained with the needle penetration. There may be inflammation and swelling at the delivery site as well. Some people heal faster than others as well, which means you may need to endure up to 4 weeks of sensitive skin before you start to feel better. That can make it challenging to stay on a regular treatment schedule.
3. Microneedling will only provide temporary results.
If you are only using microneedling as a way to generate skin health benefits or hair stimulation, then the results will only be temporary. If you want to receive long-term wrinkle reduction and scar improvements, then you must combine radio frequency treatments with this procedure to generate the results you want. Although that means you can combine therapies to create profound results, it will also require you to pay more for each session over time to ensure you are maximizing your investment.
4. Microneedling is not suitable for everyone.
Although there are skin health benefits to consider when looking at this procedure, some people have conditions which make microneedling unsuitable as a treatment option. Anyone who is suffering from acne, eczema, rosacea, or perioral dermatitis should speak with their local provider about whether or not this option is right for them. When microneedling is administered with these skin conditions present, then there is the possibility that it may cause a flare-up of bothersome symptoms.
5. Microneedling can be an expensive treatment series.
Most people won’t begin to see complete results from their microneedling therapy sessions for about 4-6 weeks. That means you’ll likely need a second (and possibly a third) session before you begin to see improvements in your skin. Because treatments can be anywhere from $200 to $400 each, some people may discover that it isn’t friendly enough for their budget. That is why at-home products are offered, but these offer limitations as well. Most DIY microneedle products use 1-millimeter needles, which can limit the results that you eventually see.
6. Microneedling can cause scarring.
Although microneedling is a low-risk procedure for most individuals, there is the potential that it could cause scars for some people. This disadvantage typically occurs with DIY use, but it is something to consider for anyone thinking about booking an appointment. A needle which is longer than 0.5mm, along with bent needles, will increase the risk of scarring. You may also encounter an increased risk of an infection when longer needles are used.
7. Microneedling may take a long time to produce wanted results.
If you are pursuing microneedling for skin rejuvenation, then the time that is necessary to produce results is measured in weeks. When your goal is to reduce the appearance of extensive scarring, then it may take 12 months or more before you can begin seeing results. You would need to continue undergoing the treatment to create the improvements during this time as well, which means you’re taking a $4,800 gamble (if not more) that this procedure will work for you. That is a process which some people may be unwilling to navigate.
8. Microneedling can cause itchiness in some people.
Have you ever experienced your skin itching because of an injury that is trying to heal? Then you might want to consider this potential disadvantage. The fact that you are receiving hundreds of small needle insertions cannot be ignored. You might discover that your skin feels itchy a raw a couple of days after the procedure. Some people can control this issue with a hydrocortisone cream that is available over-the-counter.
The pros and cons of microneedling are important to evaluate if you are looking for ways to improve the look and health of your skin. Although this option is not suitable for everyone, it may help to restore collagen and elastin levels to a healthier state while promoting hair growth for some people. Whether you choose to do this work on your own or have it administered by a local professional, you may find that a monthly appointment can help you maintain a youthful, glowing appearance for many years to come.